The Problem With 21st Century Dating


As children, we are taught that there will be one true love and that they’re going to solve all our problems and we’ll be happy forever, we are taught to wait for our perfect fit. But that’s not really how it works, is it?

Men are taught to look around, try on a pair, and if they don’t fit, toss them and keep looking.

I say the latter sounds more realistic.

What we were taught when we were little girls about princesses and eternal love, and castles is probably what got us all messed up on the idea of love. In reality, it’s about looking for a person that possesses qualities and flaws that harmonize well with yours.

It’s not about finding someone who will fix all your problems, it’s about finding a person that will hold your hands while you each fix your own problems.

I’ve found that this dating philosophy has worked for me:

You come first, and the company of a man (or a woman) are a bonus, like a Happy Meal: you paid for the food, and the toy is just a pretty plastic thing they threw in.

You may say “But oh! The toy is the best part!” If you’re a teenager or in your 20s, and you’re even remotely familiar to me, between a toy and burger and fries, you’d rather have the food.

But yes, I’ve sort of figured this out after many failed attempts and the most important thing I have learned from my male disappointments is that if someone hurts you, it’s because you allowed them to.

Your feelings are your feelings and you are the only person responsible for the wellness of them.

If you truly understand this, it should make you feel empowered, not discouraged.
Everyone experiences bad stuff during life; you can’t avoid it, life is meant to be lived and you’re supposed to fall sometimes.

What matters most is what we take with ourselves if and when we choose to walk away.
You cannot understand and accept anybody if you don’t understand and accept yourself, this is what “Love yourself first” means, and I finally learned that.

Further explanation: Loving yourself can be challenging if you don’t understand yourself, which brings me to accepting yourself. Thus, accepting yourself is the key step to any kind of healthy human relationship, and this is because human beings are not a wall of bricks that depend on each other to not fall apart, we are individuals, and as individuals we should foremost depend on ourselves.

And yes, one day you will be dating a person that says and does all the right things, that gives you butterflies, that picks up the check, and your friend’s check too, every time.
But, oh, surprise surprise, turns out he’s just another disappointing male.

It’s not you, it’s him.

This will happen, and I learned something else from my many disappointments: Some people are not meant to stay with you, some people walk in your life to teach you lessons, but that doesn’t mean you have to hate them, thank them for giving you wisdom.

Hate only affects the person that is feeling it.

We as human beings have a nasty tendency to crave for more in every aspect of our lives. Before we desire more, we have to learn to be grateful with what we already posses, only that is going to help us obtain more.

Realize that you are a blessed child of the universe, kissed by millions of stars even before you took your first breath of air.

Don’t ask the universe for a boyfriend or a girlfriend, ask the universe for a partner to walk with you. Simplify. Realize what really is important.

Life is confusing, and dating nowadays is more confusing than it has ever been.

Everyone is a commitmentphobe, everyone has attachment issues, no one takes anything seriously.

Not to mention that texting has made everything just a little more confusing:
“Should I text him first? Or should I wait for him to text me?”
“How long should I wait to text him back?”
“He took an hour to answer my text, how long should I wait now?”

These are just a few of the many texting dilemmas my friends and I experience, and I have only deemed myself an expert in this topic because it just doesn’t have an end.

If you find yourself sitting alone in the dark, pondering how and why you got so bad at this love thing, try thinking that maybe you’re not supposed to know all the right answers.

Maybe you’re not supposed to know if that boy you met on a summer in Boston is your soul mate, or if that girl with the shiny eyes you met on a September was going to make your world go round, or if that one could-have-been that stopped texting you was supposed to be yours right now.

The reality of the situation is that, if any of those people wanted to stay, they would have, no matter how hard you pushed them away, or how little you did.

The people that want to stick around will stick around.

Maybe there aren’t any right or wrong answers, maybe nothing is black or white. Maybe life is just a big grey blob and you’re meant to create your own rules as you go along; not what that dating book said, or the advice your friends or your therapist gave you.

Maybe they’re all wrong.

Or maybe they’re all right.